S’mores Cake

March 11, 2013 by

S'mores cake, ready to eat

I’ve been itching to bake lately, and once again Smitten Kitchen has provided the proper inspiration. I put a few tweaks on this recipe and made it a smaller size (well, smaller pans – but it was tall), but generally this is her recipe.

I basically made 2/3 of her recipe – upping the graham crumbs a bit and reducing the all purpose flour a bit. I kept the chocolate amount the same, and I added some marshmallows… because while a toasted meringue is good, it’s not the same as marshmallows. Next time I think I’ll do a 1/2 a recipe, with her proportions exactly, and see if it would be a bit saner of a size. Of course, a cupcake version may be more realistic…

If you want the original recipe, go buy the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – every recipe we’ve tried so far has been a winner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken

September 30, 2012 by

Thai-Style Noodles with Chicken

love, love, love Asian noodle dishes.  They are one of my go-to meals for lunch or dinner and something I never tire of.  Unfortunately, Cari and I have never had positive luck with cooking any of these dishes at home.  That is, until now.  Cooks Illustrated recently published this recipe for Thai stir-fried noodles with chicken and it’s absolutely delicious and – despite the many steps involved – not that complicated or time-consuming to make.  We’ve made this dish twice already and will gladly do so again.  The two of us managed to polish off the whole thing both times, so if you want leftovers, make sure you either double it or load up on other dishes.

Oh, and as it turns out the trick to really good stir-fried noodles is to cook it in batches and leave it alone.  That’s right, don’t stir your stir fry!  Who knew!?

Thai-Style Noodles with Chicken

Read the rest of this entry »

Lemon Pudding Cake

August 26, 2012 by

Lemon Pudding Cake

We were looking for a good weeknight dessert. Something not too decadent, but still tasty. A nice end to a weeknight dinner. We pulled out our Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites cookbook (which has sat on the shelf far too long), and found this gem, which exceeded our expectations! Oh man is it full of flavour. It’s got a great lemon punch, and the textures are awesome – pudding on the bottom, sponge-y cake on top. The recipe says you can serve it warm or cold, but we found fresh out of the oven warm to be the best bet (of course), but warming up leftovers is highly recommended… didn’t work quite as well cold for us.

The beautifully puffed-up top did deflate a bit after it sat, but it still was a great treat a few days after baking. It’s fancy looking enough that it would for guests as well, but simple enough for a weeknight as well.

The recipe:

Read the rest of this entry »

Tortilla Pie

August 25, 2012 by

Tortilla Pie

We first had this with some family friends, and after we insisted they email us the recipe. It’s since become one of our staple dinners – make once and we easily get two meals out of it. We haven’t tried, but I bet it would even freeze well.

This is basically a Mexican style lasagna using tortillas instead of pasta and beans instead of meat or ricotta. The original recipe calls for a prepared tomato sauce typically used for pasta, but we’ve actually found we prefer it with just canned tomatoes as most prepared sauces are a bit too seasoned for this.

Tortila Pie
Serves 8

Preheat oven to 350.

Use a springform pan, oiled.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbspn. Oil
  • 2 tspns. Minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes (canned is easy)
  • 1 cup canned corn
  • 1 tspn. Dried basil
  • 1 tspn. Chili powder
  • ½ tspn. Ground cumin
  • 1.5 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cups canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1. 5 cup shredded cheese (you pick flavours; feel free to mix 2 or more)
  • 2 tbspn. Grated parmesan
  • 5 x 10 inch tortillas
  1. Heat oil in frypan- medium heat. Cook garlic and onions 4 minutes, stir some. Add peppers and cook for 3 minutes, stir some. Stir in tomato sauce, corn, basil, chili powder and cumin; cover and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. In bowl combine beans. Mash roughly, stir into veg. mixture.
  3. In small bowl, combine all cheeses.
  4. Place tortilla in pan. Spread with1/3 of sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese. Repeat layers twice; top with final tortilla. Cover pan tightly with foil.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted. Cut into wedges with sharp knife.

Tortilla Pie
Yum!

Macaron from Ruelo Patisserie

July 11, 2012 by
Image

A hint of the selection from Ruelo’s website.

While we don’t have much experience with macaron, we understand it is one of the most difficult French pastries to make. We stumbled upon Ruelo Patisserie and couldn’t resist giving them a try. We were impressed by the fun selection of flavours they had – including green tea sesame, creme brûlée, earl grey, and pistachio raspberry. Upon visiting their website, we’ve found a few flavours we need to go back for – including rose lychee raspberry, balsamic vinegar, and wasabi grapefruit. They had a black truffle as well (as in the mushroom, not a chocolate), but we couldn’t justify a $5 tiny cookie since we’d never even tried this place before. $16 later we left with a selection of 6 to try, and we weren’t let down.

The price means this will be a bit of a special occasion treat, but we were glad to have that treat this weekend. Give it a try if you’re in the Yonge & Eglinton area – and let us know if you do. Not being macaron experts – we’re curious what others may have to say (or other places you’d suggest!), but for now we’re happy to have found Ruelo and expect to return.

Beer Me: Atwater Brewery’s Vanilla Java Porter

July 8, 2012 by

ImageTurns out, some American beer doesn’t suck.  On our last few visits to the U.S. we’ve managed to discover some great beers outside of the Budweiser/Coor’s Light/Old Milwaukee drudge. In the same way that Molson Canadian isn’t representative of all Canadian beers, there are some great microbreweries responsible for some delicious and refreshing brews.

On our most recent visit to Fort Wayne, we tried a Vanilla Porter, which was fantastic. This wasn’t it – but was something else we found on the drive home at a Kroger in Michigan. Brewed in Detroit, Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter begins with a hit of vanilla and finishes with a more subtle coffee taste. Definitely more of a beer I’d associate with the winter or fall months, but refreshing none-the-less.

Aspects of it reminded me of Mill Street’s Coffee Porter, but the hint of vanilla makes it well worth picking up when south of the border.

The Birthday Cake(s)

April 17, 2012 by

The cakes!

Our little girl turned one! It’s hard to believe – this year has all of the clichés of new parenthood: It flew by (they grow up so fast!), it dragged (OMG so tired needmoresleep), and we can’t quite remember what life was like before Violet.

In fact – she turned one nearly 3 months ago. And in the trend of my latest blog posts, this one is only now being written. Hopefully we can get caught up and post some of the awesome things we’ve been cooking and baking lately. But for now… the birthday cake(s)!

Read the rest of this entry »

Deep Dishin’

March 27, 2012 by

Photo courtesy of the awesome Anklewicz

There’s nothing quite like Chicago style deep dish pizza.  So when our friend Adam A. discovered a delivery-only deep dish pizza restaurant in Toronto, we thought we’d give it a try.  Then, after coming across some negative reviews, we thought better of it and decided to try making deep dish pizza ourselves.

Adam, Emily, Cari and I took our inspiration from this Emeril Lagasse recipe, and we didn’t stray too far from his formula.  We purchased two deep pans and our mouths collectively drooled with anticipation as our pizzas baked in the oven.

The result?  Delicious.  The crust was perfect; just as much a crispy pie shell as what most of us would identify as a pizza crust.  The toppings – hot Italian salami, sausage, olives, peppers and mushrooms – delicious.  But where’d all the cheese go? Admittedly it seemed like we were using a lot, but I would guess you’d need twice as much to truly resemble the Chicago-style pizza Cari and know from our visits to Giordano’s in Chicago.  I would have probably also opted for a sauce that was smooth rather than the chunky sauce Emeril’s recipe suggests.  Some of the commenters on Emeril’s recipe suggested that this pie was as good as the pizzas they remembered from Chicago.  With a few modifications, it very well may be.

What would we change for next time?

Double or triple the cheese. Double or triple the sauce, and then puree it with an immersion blender. I think that would just about do the trick… we’ll post an update when we give it a try!

Blackberry Lime Pie

November 11, 2011 by

Lime Blackberry Pie with Italian Meringue

I should’ve just titled this “prettiest pie ever” or better yet “best meringue ever” because that’s what I’m going to come back to this post for. I mean, just look at that pie. Is that not amazing? By far the prettiest pie I’ve ever made, and that meringue was to die for.

Read the rest of this entry »

Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie

October 25, 2011 by

Peanut Butter Pie with Honeycomb

The photo kind of says it all.

A graham cracker crust with an extraordinarily rich peanut butter filling, topped with homemade honeycomb and a chocolate drizzle. Likely the best pie I’ve ever made.

Did I mention the peanut butter filling was rich? Yeah, it has eight egg yolks. EIGHT. This is not a pie for the faint of heart. It is, however, a pie worth savouring.

Another thing this pie is NOT is quick and easy. It’s a bit of a process, but it’s worth it for a special occasion. I recommend making the honeycomb the day before so you don’t have to do everything in one day.

The full recipe is here.

One note: With my first attempt at the honeycomb, I didn’t let it get very brown for fear of it burning, but then it didn’t turn out at all. I let the second batch get pretty dark and ended up with a slightly “toasted” flavour, but it was still good.